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Get a free tree for Arbor Day

The Louisiana Forestry Association is celebrating Arbor Day by giving away 1,000 seedlings on Friday, Jan. 15. Trees given away this year will be the Shumard Oak, Yellow Poplar, Persimmon and Cypress.

Folks can drive through the parking area of the LFA office at 2316 S. MacArthur Drive in Alexandria beginning at 7:30 a.m. and will give away 1,000 trees.

“This is the best time of year to plant trees in Louisiana, which is why we celebrate Arbor Day here on the third Friday of January,” said. C.A. “Buck” Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association. “Especially after a year where a pandemic began, causing economic challenges, a good way to look at planting hope for the future in the New Year is planting a tree.”

More than 15 million acres of forests are spread across Louisiana, about half of the state’s land mass. Products from the forest account for about $11 billion to the state’s economy each year — it’s Louisiana’s No. 1 crop! And just like field crops, trees are replanted after being harvested, about 73 million seedlings throughout the state every year. That’s roughly 19 trees for every person living in Louisiana.

The drive-through tree giveaway is limited to the supply of 1,000 trees, provided by ArborGen SuperTree Nursery. So, once they’re gone, they’re gone.

The Shumard Oak grows to about 40-60 feet and makes a great shade tree with broad-reaching branches and its leaves offer beautiful colors in the fall. The Yellow Poplar is also a large tree, growing to about 60 feet. It makes good shade and provides nice yellow foliage in the fall. The fruit-bearing tree this year is the Persimmon tree, which grows to about 20 feet tall. It offers great fall colors in Autumn and tasty fruit in the winter. Also, this year, will be the Bald Cypress, a slow-growing iconic tree to Louisiana.

Arbor Day began in Nebraska in 1872 and is celebrated nationwide as an annual tree-planting day to foster the ideals of conservation so that our forests will always be plentiful.

The Louisiana Forestry Association has offered Arbor Day seedlings for the public since 2004 as a way of celebrating Arbor Day, the third Friday in January in Louisiana, and promoting the benefits of trees.

The Louisiana Forestry Association is a group of 4,000 members that includes forest landowners, foresters, loggers and others employed in the forest products industry. LFA’s mission is to further the practice of sustainable forestry.

At the Louisiana Forestry Association, we’re minding the forest for you!


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